7 Simple Starter Herbs for Novice Gardeners

Looking to dive into gardening but not sure where to start? Let us be your guiding light! In this article, we'll walk you through 7 simple starter herbs that are perfect for novice gardeners like yourself. From the aromatic basil to the refreshing mint, these herbs will not only add flavor to your dishes but also bring life to your garden. So roll up your sleeves, grab your trowel, and let's get started on this green thumb journey!

Key Takeaways

  • Basil is a versatile herb that can be grown in small spaces and requires well-drained soil and at least six hours of sunlight per day. Regular pruning encourages new growth.
  • Mint is a perfect choice for novice gardeners and can be grown indoors all year round. It adds flavor to dishes like teas, desserts, salads, and sauces and can be propagated through cuttings or dividing the plant.
  • Rosemary is a hardy herb that requires minimal care, thrives in well-drained soil, and needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. It adds fragrance and flavor to various dishes and can be used to infuse oils and vinegars.
  • Thyme is a versatile herb that thrives in various climates and requires well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and regular pruning. It enhances the flavor of soups, stews, marinades, and roasted meats and has immune-boosting and digestion-aiding properties.


If you're new to gardening, you should definitely consider growing basil, as it is an herb that you can easily incorporate into your cooking on a regular basis. Basil is a versatile herb that can be grown in small spaces such as containers or even windowsills. It thrives in well-drained soil and requires at least six hours of sunlight per day.

When it comes to basil, there are several different varieties to choose from, each with its own unique flavor profile. Genovese basil is the classic variety, perfect for making pesto or adding a fresh, aromatic touch to pasta dishes. Thai basil, on the other hand, has a slightly spicy flavor and is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. If you're looking to add a touch of sweetness to your dishes, try growing sweet basil, which is perfect for desserts and cocktails.

To ensure a steady supply of fresh basil, it's important to regularly prune the plant to encourage new growth. Simply pinch off the top leaves, leaving a few sets of leaves on each stem. This will help the plant grow bushier and produce more foliage. Remember to water your basil regularly, but be careful not to overwater as it can lead to root rot.


If you're a novice gardener looking to start growing your own herbs, mint is a great choice. There are various mint varieties that are perfect for beginners, such as spearmint and peppermint, which are both easy to grow and maintain. Mint can also be grown indoors, making it a versatile herb that you can enjoy all year round.

Mint Varieties for Beginners

When choosing mint varieties for your beginner herb garden, there are a few options that are easy to grow and perfect for adding flavor to your favorite dishes. Mint is a versatile herb that thrives in various growing conditions, making it an ideal choice for novice gardeners. The most common mint varieties include peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint. Peppermint is known for its strong, cooling flavor and is often used in teas and desserts. Spearmint has a milder flavor and is commonly used in savory dishes like salads and sauces. Chocolate mint, as the name suggests, has a hint of chocolate flavor and is great for adding a unique twist to desserts. Mint can be easily propagated through cuttings or by dividing the plant, making it a hassle-free herb to grow. With a little care and attention, you'll have a bountiful supply of fresh mint to enhance your culinary creations.

Growing Mint Indoors

You can easily grow mint indoors, even as a novice gardener. Here are some reasons why you should consider growing mint at home:

  1. Fresh mint for your tea: Growing your own mint means you'll always have a fresh supply of leaves to make delicious mint tea. Just steep a handful of leaves in hot water for a refreshing and soothing beverage.
  2. Aromatic addition to recipes: Using fresh mint in your recipes adds a burst of flavor and fragrance. From salads to desserts, mint can elevate the taste of your dishes and make them more appetizing.
  3. Health benefits: Mint is known for its digestive properties and can help alleviate indigestion, bloating, and nausea. It is also rich in antioxidants and can support your immune system.
  4. Easy to grow: Mint is a hardy herb that thrives in containers. It requires minimal care and can be grown in a sunny spot indoors. Just make sure to keep the soil moist and trim the plant regularly to encourage new growth.

Now that you know how beneficial and easy it is to grow mint indoors, let's move on to another versatile herb: rosemary.


To begin growing rosemary as a simple starter herb, consider starting with a small potted plant. Rosemary is a hardy herb that requires minimal care, making it an ideal choice for novice gardeners. It thrives in well-drained soil and requires at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Ensure that the plant is watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Rosemary is a versatile herb that can be used in various culinary dishes. Its fragrant, pine-like flavor pairs well with roasted meats, vegetables, and even bread. You can add rosemary to marinades, soups, and stews to enhance their flavors. Additionally, rosemary can be used to infuse oils and vinegars, adding a delightful aroma and taste to dressings and sauces. Its leaves can also be dried and used in homemade potpourri or herbal teas. Now that you have learned about rosemary, let's move on to another popular herb, thyme.


Thyme is a versatile herb that is easy to grow and can thrive in various climates. It is known for its aromatic leaves and is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. To successfully grow thyme, make sure to provide it with well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and regular pruning to encourage bushy growth. In the kitchen, thyme can be used to enhance the flavor of soups, stews, marinades, and roasted meats. Additionally, it has several health benefits, including its ability to boost the immune system and aid digestion.

Thyme Growing Tips

When growing thyme as a novice gardener, it is important to consider the optimal conditions for its growth. Here are some tips to help you successfully grow thyme in your garden:

  1. Sunlight: Thyme thrives in full sunlight, so make sure to choose a sunny spot in your garden for planting.
  2. Well-drained soil: Thyme prefers well-drained soil, so ensure that the soil is loose and drains well. Adding some sand or gravel can improve drainage.
  3. Watering: Thyme is drought-tolerant and prefers slightly dry conditions. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  4. Maintenance and harvesting: Regularly trim thyme to encourage bushier growth. Harvest thyme by cutting the stems just above the leaves, and use fresh or dried leaves for culinary purposes.

Culinary Uses for Thyme

As a novice gardener, you can explore the culinary uses of thyme to add a flavorful touch to your dishes. Thyme is not only a versatile herb in the kitchen, but it also offers numerous health benefits in traditional medicine.

Health Benefits of Thyme in Traditional Medicine Thyme Infused Cocktails and Beverages
Thyme has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for coughs, sore throats, and respiratory issues. Its antiseptic properties help fight infections and boost the immune system. Thyme-infused cocktails and beverages are gaining popularity for their unique flavors. Try adding a sprig of thyme to your favorite cocktail for a refreshing twist. Thyme-infused lemonade or iced tea can also be a delightful summer treat.
Thyme tea is known to aid digestion and relieve indigestion and bloating. It can also help alleviate menstrual cramps and reduce inflammation in the body. For a non-alcoholic option, thyme-infused water or soda can be a refreshing and healthy alternative to sugary drinks. The aromatic herb adds depth and complexity to any beverage.

Whether you're using thyme for its health benefits or to enhance the taste of your favorite dishes and drinks, this herb is a must-have in any kitchen. Experiment with different recipes and enjoy the delightful flavors thyme brings to your culinary creations.

Benefits of Growing Thyme

Are you curious about the benefits of growing thyme in your garden? Well, let me enlighten you! Thyme is not only a versatile herb in the kitchen, but it also possesses remarkable medicinal properties. Here are four reasons why you should consider growing thyme:

  1. Enhances Flavor: Thyme adds a delightful aroma and taste to your dishes, elevating the flavor profile of your culinary creations.
  2. Rich in Antioxidants: Thyme is packed with antioxidants that help protect your body from harmful free radicals, supporting overall health and well-being.
  3. Boosts Immune System: This herb contains vitamins C and A, which strengthen your immune system, helping you fight off common illnesses and infections.
  4. Soothes Respiratory Issues: Thyme has natural expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great remedy for coughs, colds, and respiratory congestion.


Growing parsley is a great choice for novice gardeners looking to start with an easy and versatile herb. Not only is parsley a low-maintenance plant, but it also offers numerous health benefits. Whether you have limited space or a sprawling garden, parsley can be grown in containers, making it a perfect addition to any home.

One of the key advantages of growing parsley in containers is that it allows you to have fresh herbs right at your fingertips. You can place the containers near your kitchen window or on your balcony, making it easy to access whenever you need it for cooking. Additionally, parsley is a biennial herb, which means it can grow for two years before it goes to seed. This extended growth period gives you ample time to harvest its flavorful leaves.

Now, let's take a closer look at the health benefits of parsley. This herb is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and iron. These nutrients contribute to improved immune function, healthy blood clotting, and proper cell growth and repair. Parsley also contains antioxidants that help protect your body against harmful free radicals.

Incorporating parsley into your diet can have a positive impact on your overall health. You can add it to salads, use it as a garnish, or blend it into smoothies for an extra nutrient boost. So why not give parsley a try? It's an easy-to-grow herb that offers both culinary and health benefits.


If you enjoyed growing parsley, another simple starter herb for novice gardeners is chives. Chives are a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to omelettes and mashed potatoes. Here are some planting tips to help you get started with chives:

  1. Choose a sunny spot: Chives thrive in full sun, so make sure to select a location in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
  2. Prepare the soil: Chives prefer well-drained soil, so it's important to amend your garden bed with compost or organic matter to improve drainage.
  3. Plant the seeds or transplants: Chives can be grown from seeds or transplants. If starting from seeds, sow them directly in the garden bed, spacing them about 6 inches apart. If using transplants, dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and place the plant in the hole, ensuring that the crown is level with the soil surface.
  4. Water and fertilize: Chives require regular watering, especially during dry spells. Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Fertilize the plants every 4-6 weeks with a balanced organic fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

When it comes to companion planting, chives have many beneficial relationships with other plants in the garden. Here are some plants that make great companions for chives:

  • Tomatoes: Chives help repel pests that commonly affect tomatoes, such as aphids and spider mites.
  • Carrots: Chives improve the flavor of carrots and help deter carrot flies.
  • Roses: Chives planted near roses can help repel aphids and black spot disease.
  • Strawberries: Chives can help deter pests like slugs and snails that often attack strawberry plants.


To successfully grow cilantro, you'll need to choose a sunny spot in your garden and prepare the soil accordingly. Cilantro thrives in full sun, so find a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to improve its fertility and drainage.

If you have limited space in your garden, don't worry! Cilantro can be grown in small spaces such as containers or raised beds. Choose a container that is at least 8-10 inches deep to accommodate the root system. Fill it with a well-draining potting mix, and sow the cilantro seeds directly into the container. Make sure to keep the soil consistently moist throughout the growing season.

When it comes to companion plants for cilantro, there are a few options that can help deter pests and attract beneficial insects. Planting cilantro alongside dill, parsley, and basil can help repel harmful insects like aphids and spider mites. These herbs also attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings, which feed on garden pests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Water My Basil Plant?

To prevent overwatering your basil plant, water it when the top inch of soil feels dry. Basil is susceptible to pests like aphids and whiteflies. Regularly inspect the leaves for any signs of infestation and take appropriate measures to control them.

Can I Grow Mint Indoors?

Yes, you can definitely grow mint indoors! It's a great herb for indoor gardening. Here are some tips and tricks for growing mint indoors and the best varieties to choose from.

What Is the Best Way to Propagate Rosemary?

To propagate rosemary, start by taking cuttings from a healthy plant. Strip the lower leaves and place the cuttings in a container with well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Watch out for common pests like aphids and spider mites.

How Much Sunlight Does Thyme Require?

Thyme plants in pots need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. In a sunny garden, thyme thrives in well-drained soil and full sun. Water regularly and trim after flowering to keep it healthy.

Can I Use Dried Parsley Instead of Fresh in Recipes?

Yes, you can use dried parsley instead of fresh in recipes. The pros of using dried herbs include longer shelf life and convenience, while the cons are that they may have a slightly weaker flavor.


So there you have it, novice gardeners, a handful of simple starter herbs to kickstart your gardening journey. With a little patience, care, and a touch of irony, these herbs will flourish under your watchful eye. Remember, even the greenest thumbs can find success with these easy-to-grow plants. So go ahead, embrace the world of herbs and add a flavorful twist to your culinary endeavors. Happy gardening!